Seldom Heard Film Fest Highlights Kansas Stories and Filmmakers



Courtesy photo

As sweeping views of sculpted chalk monoliths and massive red hills formed of sandstone, shale and gypsum appear onscreen, the narrator says in a dramatic trailer-style tone, “Funny how. something in the center of all this could be overlooked. “

The preview is for the inaugural Seldom Heard Film Festival, which co-founders Nick Abt and Adam Dreher hope to spotlight stories and places in the state that aren’t often heard or seen on the big screen.

The idea for the festival originated in July when videographers from Wichita, who got to know each other by posting clips on Abt Scenic Kansas’ Facebook page, explored ways to share their own films. They both recently completed their own 25-minute scenic films showcasing the Kansas landscapes.

These films will debut alongside three other documentaries of approximately the same duration. There will also be three microfilms of 5 minutes or less each on Kansas and by Kansas filmmakers. The Wichita War Dancer, a professional Native American artist, will kick off the festival. Abt’s movie “Medicine Hills” features the Intertribal Powwow Grounds at Memorial Peace Park in Medicine Lodge.

The festival takes place Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the historic Augusta Theater at 523 State St. in Augusta, about 15 miles east of Wichita. Doors open at 2 p.m. and filmmakers will be available for an informal chat before the films start. Tickets are $ 11 per person for movies available for purchase online at Tickets will also be available at the box office until they sell out on the 300 available seats.

It is also possible to chat informally with the filmmakers after the film screenings during a reception at Sugar Shane’s opposite the theater. It is a paid event and includes dinner; tickets remain limited to $ 28 for the festival and reception package.

The five main films, each lasting 20 to 25 minutes, are:

  • Nick Abt’s ‘Medicine Hills’ is described as a tribute to Old West history and awe-inspiring landscapes in the Gypsum Hills of Barber County

  • Adam Dreher’s “Buffalo Roam” focuses on aerial footage of some of Kansas’ less-discovered yet accessible places.

  • Cole Campbell’s “No Stone Unturned” shares the history of the Kansas Herpetological Society with footage of field trips in search of snakes.

  • “Our Charlie: Charles Curtis – A Boy Forced to Choose” presented by the Shawnee County Historical Society is about the Kansas politician and member of the Kaw Nation who served as Vice President of the United States under Herbert Hoover.

  • Rusty Earl’s “I Was a Buffalo Soldier: The Story of Nolen Self” documents a longtime Junction City resident who served five campaigns in Calvary 10 during World War II.

Dreher is an avid explorer of the state and takes his drone with him. He created “Buffalo Roam” as a passionate project, using footage from his explorations in places such as Arikaree Breaks in Northwestern Kansas, massive rock formations in Gove County in Western Kansas. Kansas and lands mined in the eastern part of the state.

“My film is all about nature and shows others cool places to explore, essentially breaking out of the mold that Kansas is flat and shapeless,” Dreher said. “I spend a lot of time hiking and exploring different places and this movie shows some of those really beautiful and awesome parts of Kansas that people don’t know.”

Dreher said he hopes Seldom Heard becomes an annual event and that with more time to plan next year may be more important. They don’t try to compete with other Kansas film festivals such as the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita and the No Coast Film Festival in Emporia and instead focus solely on Kansas filmmakers sharing stories about Kansas.

“We expect our event won’t necessarily attract moviegoers, but Kansans and Kansas-enthusiastic people who want to come see cool movies about Kansas,” he said.

Rarely Heard Film Festival

What: inaugural film festival focused on films by Kansas filmmakers on Kansas subjects

When: 15 am to 18 pm Saturday, Oct. 16; pre-fest activities from 14h to 18h and Home

Or: Historic Augusta Theater, 523 State St., Augusta, Kansas

How much: $ 11 for film screenings only; $ 28 for the projections more receiving movies. Tickets available online and at the door unless you are exhausted.

Information: Tickets to; see trailers and behind-the-scenes footage on the event’s Facebook page


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